By: Ely Lagajino

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

A beautiful river flows beside our barangay. Sailboat racing was an exciting game in the area during summer when the direction of the wind from the river blew out toward the open sea. Boat races, which started at the river ended without a finish line. Therefore, the last three surviving boats would be declared winners.

Children and young people joined the race, but parents made the sailboats. My cousin and I wanted to join but we had no money to buy materials to build a good one that would survive the strong winds and waves.

At the last minute we settled for my new rubber slippers; a graduation gift from my uncle. I removed the straps, fastened the strapless pair with abaca fiber, and attached a stick with a cloth for a sail. My plan was to return the straps after the race, so I could use my slippers again.

Spectators at the bridge, which served as the border between the river and the sea, were surprised to spot a funny looking contraption among the lead pack. As it approached them. The crowd identified the boat as a pair of rubber slippers, which sent them bursting into wild laughter, but they continued cheering as instant fans of the slippers sailboat because of its unusual design.

The big waves tossed the funny boat up and down so fast into the open sea, until it was out of sight, overtaking more than 6 meters of social distancing from all the other robust-looking sailboats capsizing one after the other. The smart slippers sailboat was declared the champion.

I hung the straps around my neck but went home barefooted.

“You sure are the best sailboat builders and designers this year”, said a fan as we slapped high fives. But, of course, Lolo Noah is still the best boat builder of all time. His ark survived the strongest winds and rain for 40 days and 40 nights because he trusted and obeyed God, the Master Designer of all.

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